Poor Relief Department

The Poor Relief Department was established to relieve poverty and destitution among all members of the Jamaican society.
The department provides non-institutional as well as institutional care for adults and children. In non-institutional care, clients may be on the registered roll as ward of the state, or they may be destitute persons receiving temporary assistance only.
In institutional care, clients are wards of the state and receive total care in infirmaries or golden age homes. The Poor Relief Department also provides temporary assistance to all members of the society.
The Poor Relief Department operates its Main Office from the compound of the Saint Elizabeth Municipal Corporation at 58 High Street, Black River.The Department hosts a staff compliment of ten (10) with the Inspector of Poor as the head of the department.
The Department is divided into six districts. Each office has an office day. Santa Cruz, Maggotty and Black River have theirs on a Monday, New market and Pedro Plains on a Tuesday and St. Mary’s on a Wednesday.
The Department has both an Indoor and Outdoor section. The Indoor section is the infirmary which is sited in Santa Cruz on Institution Drive and has as the Administrator Matron Joycelyn Bryan.
The sentence “From the womb to the Tomb” is what best describes the level of assistance afforded individuals. We offer assistance in the form of cash for dole, transportation for both medical and school Purposes. Medication and medical comfort, rental, burial, lunch, housing and bedding among any other need that may arise from time to time.
An investigation is done on all cases referred. Referrals can be made by anyone or an organization.

Staff District
Inspector of Poor
Deputy Inspector of Poor-Acting
Catherine Blake-Williams
Jermaine Porter
     Black River
Assistant Inspectors of Poor-Acting Lemeisha Brown
Desreen Douglas
Carrol Ledgister
Claudine Forbes
Bryan Salmon
    New Market
    Pedro Plains
    St Mary's
    Santa Cruz
Secretary Antoinette Witter  
Records Clerk-Acting Dawn Brydson-Watson  
Customer Service Representative    


Outdoor Poor Relief Programme
Each Registered Poor receives monthly monetary assistance (dole). Individuals are entitled to a minimum of $900 per month. ‘From Womb to the Tomb’ 

  • Education
  • Food and Special Needs
  • Transportation
  • Bedding and Clothing
  • Medical Assistance
  • Housing
  • Burial
  • Enabling the disabled
  • Counseling
  • Special Projects 

Antoinette Witter